With Christmas almost upon us, Cifas is warning young people, in particular students, to be wary of anyone approaching them in the student union or elsewhere with promises of cash for the use of their bank account.
Figures released today (8 December) show that young people are disproportionately at risk of this type of fraud, with 54% of all ‘Misuse of Facility’ frauds being committed by those aged under 30. Bank Accounts, Communications and Online Retail accounts are misused the most.
Criminals may make it sound attractive by offering a cash payment but the reality is that letting other people use your account in this way is fraud and it’s illegal. You may end up with an extra £200 at Christmas (if they honour your agreement) but you could also end up with a fraud record – is it really worth it?
The real consequences of committing ‘Misuse of Facility’ fraud includes the risk of a conviction for money laundering, which carries a maximum prison term of 14 years, additionally it could affect future applications for a mortgage, credit cards, mobile phones and student loans.
‘Misuse of facility’ fraud is where an account, policy or product is misused by the genuine account holder. The most common example is when an individual allows their bank account to be used to facilitate the movement of criminal funds. Often described as a ‘money mule’, individuals commit fraud by moving money through their own account and then to a third party, who is usually located in another country.
Other examples include selling your bank account, knowingly making a payment that will bounce, or opening credit card, retail accounts or mobile phone contracts where you have no intention of honouring the credit agreements.
For the first time Cifas has launched our quarterly stats through an interactive regional map on our website, figures will be updated every quarter www.cifas.org.uk/fraud_statistics.
For more information, read our press release https://www.cifas.org.uk/press_centre/money_mules